3 Months with sweet Avonlea (and a poem)

Thursday, July 27

 Wow, 3 months with our girl has come and gone...next week she'll be 4 months!

This last month has been delightfully fun. She's started laughing and giggling, and come one...there is absolutely nothing cuter than baby giggles...amiright? Her chuckle just kills me, I want to listen to it on repeat forever.

She's also started holding her head up, which makes me feel like she's all grown up (insert emoji with tears...time is flying by too fast!). She started lifting her feet in the air and grabbing them with her little hands...so dang cute! When she smiles, she practically opens her mouth as wide as it can go, and her face lights up. I want to etch her little smile into the recesses of my brain because it makes me so happy inside.

Don't get me wrong, she's still a baby who cries and has blow-outs, and spits up on me (often). But somehow those things fade into the background when she gives me a huge toothy grin or a little giggle. The other day I had a million things on my to-do list (and would have been happy if I just got 1 of them checked off, haha) and set her down for a minute in her crib while I reset the internet. She had never been in her crib up until this point, as she sleeps in our room. But let me tell you, she thought the crib was awesome. She was smiling up a storm, so I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pics. Usually when I bust the camera out, she refuses to smile or look at it, but in this moment she was laughing away. Priceless. 

I've been trying to be fully present with her, especially when she is nursing. It's easy to grab my phone and check emails/etc. but lately i've been challenging myself to soak up every ounce of her sweetness and savor it like a sweet aroma. I wanted to notice all the little things...the coloring in her face or even the way she breathes.

The other day while I was watching her as she slept in my arms, a little poem started forming in my head. Let me preface this by saying i'm not a person that's ever been super into poetry, but I do love a good rhyme so this was fun to let flow. The words just kind of came to me, and I wrote them down. Yep, it's cheesy, but it's truly how I felt about my girl so I thought I would share it with you:) I read it to Kevin later that evening, thinking he would laugh, but instead we both got a little teary eyed. Having a baby is truly one of the most precious gifts I've ever received, and I want to soak every stage in with wonder and awe.

Here is what I noticed and felt as I rocked my baby girl while she slept:

I love to hold you in my arms,
my sweet little baby girl.
Your eye lids the color violet,
on your head a precious curl.

Im so grateful to be your mommy,
you are so perfect to me.
I look at you and smile,
thinking how fun our future together will be.

Your little breathes, they rise and fall,
your darling fingers curled in a ball.
Your smile comes and then is gone,
I savor this time, this season is not long.

I love your snuggles, they are the best,
as I hold you tightly against my chest.
I'll cherish this time, just you and me,
grateful to God for my little Avonlea

Not the most eloquent of poems, but I'll cherish the memory of her tiny body in my arms, peacefully sleeping and be glad I documented it in a small literary way:)  xoxo 

What i'm loving

Tuesday, July 18

This last month has flown by! There's been the good, the bad, and the ugly at our house. The good of course being our sweet girl Avonlea...oh how she just delights us. The bad...we've had a few leaks at our house and are still dealing with the flooding from May (these are the times you are so thankful you pay for the dang insurance! ha). And then there's the ugly...Kevin and I got food poisoning and let's just say it was not pretty! And also, as you can see from my blog, Photobucket decided to change their policies on 3rd party hosting, so my blog is a mess. However..it's getting fixed, so hopefully soon it will be back to it's clean format:)

BUT...i've so enjoyed slowing down and noticing so many lovely things in our lives. Most of my favorite things going on are the sweet people i'm with and the relationships forming. But apart from people here's a bit of a round-up of what i'm loving this past month...

Breath Study

My sweet friend Adrienne recommended this study to me, and a girlfriend and I are going through it together this summer. I've so enjoyed it. I've never prayed through the psalms before, and it's been delightful. Each day there is a psalm to read through, and then respond by writing your own prayer inspired by it. God has revealed snippets from His word that have encouraged me so much in the way I needed that day. It's also really different than anything i've done...totally recommend it:) {and it's gorgeous, which is always inspiring!} Looking to go through more of the Bible Studies at Life Lived Beautifully! 

I recently stumbled across an amazing artist named Deann. Her art is incredibly gorgeous...layer upon layer of color and beauty. Currently she's got a line of florals, ballerina's (which I would love for a little girl's bedroom!) and iconic churches. Seriously some beautiful eye candy! 

I'm not sure I can even express how much I adore this recipe! Seeing as i've already made it 4 times since I found it, i'd say it's a total winner. So easy, so yummy, and most ingredients I have on hand....just need to pick up some fresh chicken and asparagus! The sauce though...so so flavorful! Make it and you'll thank me...well, you'll actually thank The Saucy Kitchen:) 

The Crown

I know i'm late to the game on this one, but holy moly! The writing and acting in this show is unbelievable. And it's incredibly fascinating getting a glimpse into the royal family and the tensions that existed between being an individual and being "the crown". I also loved learning more about Winston Churchill. The scene where he's getting his portrait painted and him and the painter are sharing their lives with each other was brilliant. I have to admit that I did watch the first episode almost a year ago and wasn't impressed, so it wasn't until a few days ago that I decided to give it another go. And i'm so glad I did...it only gets better and better.

Compton Coffee House

So...some friends of one of my friends are opening a coffee shop in Compton (in Los Angeles County). I cannot tell you how passionate I am about seeing people live missionally wherever God calls them. This couple has been called to live and love in Compton, and their desire is to open the only independent coffee house in the whole city. As they put it "In the end, community is the goal; coffee is the method." Here's a brief snippet of their goal
"We live and work here in the City of Compton. As of now there is not an independent Coffeehouse in the city. This is not because residents don't want one; currently our neighbors leave the city to catch up with a friend, work, or study. While there are a couple of big chain coffeehouses, there are few local alternatives for those who want ethically sourced, sustainably produced, organic options. In addition to creating a place to grab a cup of coffee or a snack, we want to facilitate community enrichment, like poetry and art nights or panels to discuss relevant issues, all while staffing with a local workforce that is paid a dignified wage."  
Think about how much you love your local coffee shop...can you imagine if you didn't have access to one? I know how much I LOVE the coffee culture of hanging out, reading, meeting friends, and just feeling inspired by drinking something yummy and having a relaxing space to be at. That's a pretty neat gift to give to someone else:) They are currently raising money to start their shop, so you can see their campaign and give here!  

"Hello" Doormat

Kevin and I went to Home Depot this weekend to get some supplies for a project we're working on. I always love Home Depot because it means we are DIYing together, but I've never really bought anything to accessorize with there. I happened to notice this doormat and instantly fell in love. I've been seeing these cute doormats all over the internet, but for SO expensive. Well, hello and thank you Home Depot! I brought this little baby home for $6.99! Woo Hoo!

Sally Clarkson Podcasts

I adore Sally Clarkson! If you haven't read her books, then get on it. They are inspiring, refreshing, life-giving, and so so challenging in an inspirational way. Whenever I'm cooking dinner, I put a podcast of hers on. It gives me something to think about and figuratively chew on. You can see her blog and listen to her podcasts here.  This one above on manners was fascinating...she had some great ideas for how to creatively teach your kids appropriate ways to behave:)

Books Books and more Books! 
I'm loving using the time I spend nursing to read all the books i've been wanting to! I hope to do a post on the books i've read as there has been some fun ones. Stay tuned! What are YOU reading? I need some new titles!!

What are you loving this summer? I'd love to hear your round-up!! xoxo

Our annual santa cruz beach vacation

Tuesday, July 11

If you've been around here long enough, you'll remember that every June, my whole mom's side of the family piles into a beach house in Santa Cruz. It's one of my most beloved traditions! You can see last years Santa Cruz post here (murder mystery dinner included, haha!)

Since having a baby, I've rarely taken my camera out. But if I do, it's to take pictures of Avonlea. Soooo, that pretty much sums up why Avonlea is in every single picture below, haha! It sure was fun to bring her on her first vacation. She LOVED being outside, was mesmerized by the water, and wasn't quite sure about the sand.

A very fun part of this trip was meeting Rebecca from the blog Caravan Sonnet. We've connected via blogging for years now, and when she found out she'd be in California for an appointment, she made the trek to our beach house. It was SUCH a delight spending the afternoon with her. I love sitting with people who laugh a lot, and she sure lit up the room!

It was so fun seeing my entire family love on our sweet girl...it takes a village, right? Hope your week is off to a great start! much love...

Need your help...where should we go in Oregon?

Wednesday, July 5

Hi friends! Wow nelly, it's been a whole month since i've written. We spent a lovely week at the beach in Santa Cruz, and Avonlea and I have been visiting people and enjoying summer. Not to mention we've been dealing with our house flooding and our book cases having to be ripped out! womp womp, haha! That's life, right?

But..we are planning our first real vacation since Avie girl was born, and are thinking of going to Oregon. Probably start in Portland and then go to Astoria, Cannon Beach, and somewhere else on the coast. I would LOVE your suggestions...

where to stay?
what to eat?
what to do?

Know anyone that lives there? Do you live there? Hook me up!! Kevin and I have never explored Oregon and are really excited to do so! We'd love a locals perspective on things:)

Hope you all are enjoying summer and staying cool!! Thanks for the help xoxo